Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—rose 3.1% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.00 million in January.
SPOTLIGHT ON: Joan Marks
Focused on Raising Awareness of the HG Realtor Foundation
Joan Marks, vice chair of the HG Realtor Foundation Fundraising Committee, has been an Associate Broker with Christie’s International Real Estate for the past three-and-a-half years. As the Manager of its Westchester/Hudson Valley region, Marks spends her time overseeing the Scarsdale, Chappaqua and White Plains offices.
While a Westchester resident for only five years, she has become very familiar with the county and now calls White Plains her home. But living the suburban life is quite a change for Marks, who grew up in Manhattan and enjoyed a corporate career in New York City’s financial world. “As a kid in the big city, it was really great back then,” she recalled. “I had a lot of independence, riding buses and trains by myself. I was also exposed to a lot of culture at a young age—ballet, opera, theater. I didn’t know any different and it was a very exciting time.”
A business major in college, Marks spent the bulk of her early career with financial giants like Citibank and Dreyfus, working in sales and marketing. “I started out in sales working with higher net worth clients and then moved towards non-sales on the marketing side,” she said.
Eventually, she married and moved to Fort Lee, NJ to start a family, and in 2001, she made the switch to real estate. “I left the corporate world when I had my third child,” she noted. “I always liked the business world, so real estate gave me the opportunity to continue my business career and use my corporate skills, but with more flexibility.”
Because of her background, Marks found the transition to real estate fairly smooth. “I was able to look at this career as a business and give it a different perspective,” she added. Originally, she began working with Weichert Realtors in Bergen County and remained in New Jersey for quite a few years, joining Coldwell Banker and Keller Williams.
“I loved the opportunity to help people with one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions of their lives,” she said. “I remember walking away from a closing table teary-eyed, after spending so much time with these families and holding their hands through the process.”
By the time she relocated to Westchester, Marks was no longer selling, but managing. “Westchester is very similar to Bergen, as both have luxury markets and demanding clientele,” she said. “The tri-state area in general, I believe, has very sophisticated, well-educated clients.”
Now, Marks spends her days managing and training agents, to help them grow their businesses. “I’m quite passionate in front of a classroom and it’s very rewarding to see these agents become more confident and move along in their careers,” she said.
Three years ago, Marks got involved with the HG Realtor Foundation, and plans to stay involved. As a former PTO president, she enjoyed working with community groups. “I had a very blessed life and I want to give back to communities,” she said. “It’s tough living here in this area and not everyone can afford all of the expenses. It’s unbelievable what all of these charitable organizations accomplish.”
Beyond fundraising, one of Marks’ goals is to create more awareness about the Realtor Foundation, what it does, and the charities and non-profits that it supports.
As for her personal life, Marks is a busy grandmother now. She has three grown children and two grandchildren—one who’s four years old and the other, four months old. Her son and two daughters all live in Colorado, and she visits them quite often. In addition, Marks is an avid skier.
After so many years living as a suburbanite, though, Marks still enjoys a trip to Manhattan. “I always took the kids when they were little, but I don’t get there as often now,” she said. “But I do love the city on a nice fall day, just walking the streets and people watching. It’s still a great experience.”